Tanzania: Judge Now Seeks Help to Hold Fugitives and Enforce Verdicts

PRESIDENT of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), Judge Carmel Agius has requested for collaboration in the arrest of eight remaining International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) fugitives.

Presenting the Mechanism's 15th progress report to the United Nations Security Council, Judge Agius asked member states to cooperate in arresting the fugitives and enforce sentences passed by ICTR.

He outlined its judicial work and other key activities during the past six months.

Particularly, he called upon South Africa to honour its international obligations by arresting a fugitive located in its territory in 2018.

He also called upon member states to assist in finding a permanent solution to the relocation of the nine ICTR acquitted and released persons currently remaining safe in Tanzania.

President Agius set out a number of milestones within the Mechanism's grasp.

He stressed that 2020 would be a crucial year for the Mechanism as it would complete most of its existing judicial workload, thereby allowing it to focus primarily on continuous residual functions in accordance with the United Nations Security Council's vision of the Mechanism as a small, temporary and efficient structure.

The Mechanism was established by U N Security Council Resolution 1966 in 2010 to complete the remaining work of ICTR and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that closed in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

The Mechanism has two branches, one in Arusha, Tanzania and another in The Hague, The Netherlands.

He expressed confidence in support of the international community, expressing his trust that the prevailing scepticism regarding international criminal justice would be set aside so that the mandate of the Mechanism, as determined by the Council could continue being fulfilled.

With regard to the Mechanism's remaining judicial caseload, President Agius informed the Council of key developments at the Arusha branch, including the conclusion of review proceedings and delivery, months ahead of the schedule, of the review judgment in the Augustin Ngirabatware case.

He noted that a new indictment on Ngirabatware for contempt and incitement to commit contempt was confirmed in October 2019 and that the case had been joined to the existing contempt case against Maximilien Turinabo and others.

The joint contempt trial is expected to commence in the first half of 2020 and conclude by the end of the year.

Turning to judicial activity in The Hague, the President noted that judgements in the Stanišić and Simatović retrial and the Mladić appeal remained on track to be delivered by the end of 2020.

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